the good movie thread

The forum for posting pictures of cats with subtitles and other internet inanities.

Re: the good movie thread

Postby Sammson on Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:59 pm

Malrik wrote:Sam, whenever I overhear pretentious movie jagoffs like you in the city, I want to use your bloody limbs to club baby seals.

Mike gave a quick, concise review of what he didn't like about Ali without writing a novel about it. Watch and learn.


I apologize your attention span before the written language is so short.

If that was a novel, what do you consider good literature? I'd assume something like bumper stickers and political button pins - something short enough, so you won't get bored, but clever enough that your noodle might pick up on the sarcasm.

But I waste my time, as we pretentious folk should live by:

1) Malrik is right about everything where opinions are typically valued.
2) If Malrik is wrong, see rule number 1.

Now, that would make a great bumper sticker, but I think it would be too long. I need to watch and learn.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Dpsonroids on Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:02 pm

Hahaha, I have a South Park DVD in and the episode on is the one where all the uppity people are smellin their own farts.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Gondlem on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:41 pm

I'm a pretentious douchebag as well, and as a pretentious douchebag, I'm pretty sure everything Sammson thinks about film is more or less exactly incorrect. I mean, criticising a film for having a camera shot down a hallway? What about creating setting, or atmosphere? Not everything has to be "SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE RIGHT NOW, LOOK!"

Anyway, Taxi Driver is fucking amaaaaazing. The point you seem to be missing is that Travis isn't meant to have some sort of stunning, dramatic and sudden descent into madness. There's nothing so glorious in store for him. The point of the character is that he has no particular meaningful connection to anything around him(keep in mind the film is essentially about the identity of a vietnam vet, like TDH), so he creates pointless obsessions for himself, like the girl in Palentine's office, Palentine himself, rescuing the hooker, and so on. He's not meant to be an of eloquent maniac or anti-hero providing glorious speeches for our entertainment, he's just a guy with no direction in life on an inevitable path towards self-destruction. It's worth noting that when he is writing in his diary he's not presenting some brilliant speech about the downfall of humanity or something, and in fact he doesn't even finish half his sentences, he's just mumbling. This isn't because of "poor writing" or whatever, it's because the film had something more subtle in mind than just providing some snappy dialogue to jerk off over.

The most powerful scene in the film IMO is the one where he is watching TV and kicks it over. That, better than anything else, demonstrates what Bickle's character is about. If you watch it again, try and do it without looking for the great hook or memorable moment, which is an easy trap to fall into I guess because the film is so famous. Instead, look at how Scorcese and De Niro capture the inner turmoil of a subtle and complex character, and how much you can learn about him as a person without a word being said.

Anyway, here's some random, really good films that people who watch a lot of movies might not have seen:
Punch-Drunk Love
Lantana
The Game
Missing
Nashville
The China Syndrome
I'll post more when I think of them.

Also, I agree with Mike about Goodfellas. You'll never see a better biopic. I'm Not There was fucking awesome, though.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Malrik on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:28 pm

Sammson is like Charles Dickens: Everything he writes is like a thousand pages long and boring as fuck.

I made a reference to classic literature, cwutididthur?
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Malrik on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:33 pm

Gondlem wrote:Also, I agree with Mike about Goodfellas. You'll never see a better biopic.


For some reason I never watched that movie until I was like 20, when I had to do so for a class I took in college. I had to break every scene down super-sammson-film-loser style into almost every shot and cue, which involved me watching the film like ten times in a day and a half. The first time I watched it I just sat back and kept repeating to myself "this is awesome," and even after repeating it I continued to enjoy it over and over.

That film is just a perfect storm of writing, direction, and casting.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:46 pm

I also saw When Harry Met Sally recently, which was a surprising 5 star in my book. I like Rob Reiner a lot but I guess I wasn't expecting to actually enjoy this movie as much, since I'm not much on love stories, but the characters were cool and the way he displayed the film was coo'.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Sammson on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:02 pm

Malrik wrote:I had to break every scene down super-sammson-film-loser style


What the fuck does that even mean?
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:18 pm

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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Sammson on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Gondlem wrote: I mean, criticising a film for having a camera shot down a hallway?


It was not the shot down the hallway. It was the fact that Travis was talking on the phone, and having an engaging conversation at that, but then the camera panned right - and here's a hallway. Ten seconds of this hallway. A hallway that leads to some traffic. Cool, but what's the point?

That was my real beef with the movie. I never thought there was anything much too wrong with De Niro's performance. In fact, part of what irritated me about the aforementioned shot was that it detracted from De Niro's screen time.

I do believe that if there is a reason for a shot to move completely away from the character, it needs to pay off. The dialog, while decent, was not jarring enough to pay off the shot, which somewhat suggested that someone was about to walk down this hallway. It's kind of like putting a character on a sidewalk on the far edge of the screen. You, as a viewer, naturally expect someone to walk up to the character because all of this space is there to be walked on.

The bits of writing that really did bother me were the inane conversations between the first woman of Travis's obsession and her male coworker. I was digging for the wit, punchline, meaning, or really any sense in some of their dialogue, but it produced nil - something along the lines of "What was the point of that?" and "Who cares?"

I do think I did mention that I might have gone in to viewing the film with the wrong expectations after seeing such powerful Scorsesinations as Goodfellas and, one of my Top 5, The Departed.

To be fair, the director has but a knee-deep contribution to the writing, paying more attention to the conveyance of character and story by visuals rather than the words themselves. While Scorsese is known for a very hands-on approach to the production of a script, even actors have more sway in the dialog itself: De Niro ad-lib'd the famous line "Are you talking to me?" That action line of the script is simply "Travis Bickle stares in mirror." (Scorsese has given up the reins temporarily to the actors, as well: The famous "You think I'm funny" scene in Goodfellas was directed by it's key deliverer, Joe Pesci.)

I won't shy away from being a sucker for excellent writing; it's typically what I look for in a film before anything else, quickly followed by acting, direction, and then score/soundtrack. What bothered me about Taxi Driver as a film was, what felt to me, an overall letdown. I did enjoy many of its scenes, especially where Travis rests the t.v. precariously on his foot until he pushes it over. One of the earlier shots in the film with an intense zoom into Travis's eye, revealing the night traffic in front of him, really got me in to it - no dialog or steamy writing required.

I won't say the movie is that great, but I do respect its contribution to the industry, and I most certainly respect it as a proving grounds for some of the most talented actors and filmmakers in the business.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:32 pm

I think it's a movie more for visual people since a lot of the scenes I remember about that movie weren't when deniro wasn't even talking. The scene I loved the most was when he was just driving around at night in his taxi watching everyone he passed, there was something about it that just summed up the whole movie (and his character) for me.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Sammson on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:50 pm

Michael wrote:I think it's a movie more for visual people


It is my film instructor's favorite movie. He loves Scorsese and De Niro, and this movie is his all-time number 1.

He is an extremely visually-driven person, being an instructor specialized in screen direction, framing, and the style of "getting the shot." So, we often have quarrels over what makes something "good" or what is the better quality a feature film can have: Visuals or Writing.

You honestly cannot have one without the other, no matter how you cut it. A visual adventure without any writing is a slideshow; writing with no visuals is a really boring book (i.e. screenplays are written with the barebones visuals, often not even including shots unless absolutely necessary, and most people would find reading a screenplay excruciatingly boring). So great films need both; good films can simply rest on their laurels in their good aspects. Most films you've seen are lacking in a category, but can still be entertaining.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:31 pm

Couldn't agree more. The Reader was a boring book turned into a boring movie with nothing to see on screen but 2 people talking, as you said, which is why I thought that shit should never have been nominated for an oscar. Sometimes I think they try to nominate movies just for show, and this is an example of that. The Dark Knight got jewed man. A nomination, at least. I rewatched that movie for the first time in ...a long, long time a few days ago and instantly remembered why I loved it so much. It was really one of the best comic book movies ever made, even though on the surface it looks more like a crime drama. It starts out like a comic, with the main villain announcing himself and striking out against the hero. It continues with the hero being beaten down and beaten down and every time it looks like he's about to get the upper hand you find out the villain was just playing him from the start. Finally the hero is able to make some progress thanks to some outside help, get back on his feet, and defeat the villain, only to have the villain reveal his whole plan at the end as he's being hauled away/locked up.

Ok I'm gonna stop talking I just had another nerdgasm
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Dpsonroids on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:23 am

Michael wrote:Couldn't agree more. The Reader was a boring book turned into a boring movie with nothing to see on screen but 2 people talking, as you said, which is why I thought that shit should never have been nominated for an oscar. Sometimes I think they try to nominate movies just for show, and this is an example of that. The Dark Knight got jewed man.


No, The Reader is what got jewed.

Any film having to do with anything related to the holocaust is automatically nominated for an oscar.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Sammson on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:30 pm

The Dark Knight is in many ways the best made movie of 2008. Pitted against the other Best Picture nominations, I think it stands out in more than a few regards. I liked Slumdog Millionaire, but compared to TDK...I don't think it even comes close.

Really, don't get me wrong, I though Slumdog was great; I've seen it a couple times now and enjoyed it every sitting. But Best Picture?

It is a visually arousing movie, with strong acting from the lead roles, and a pace that never bores you. But as for the depth and vibrancy of the real story - I don't know, that's just average to me. It's a unique story, but an original screenplay Oscar winner? Hmm.

I think TDK should have been nominated for Adapted Screenplay and Picture. I would not have raised hell if Nolan was nominated for Best Director either.

It did receive its share of nominations: Visual Effects, Sound, Makeup, Editing, Cinematography, and Art Direction; not to mention it scooped up Best Supporting Actor, r.i.p., and Sound Editing.

To that, I think TDK is a brilliantly edited movie - it's one of its best qualities. There are some sequences that are so flawless, only on your twentieth viewing will you notice the small jumps or discontinuities, which only further the likability of the film and appreciation of the editing perfection.

(For example, when The Joker has a gun to Rachel's head, he says, "Sure, you just take off your little mask and show us all who you really are." She is shaking her head some, then The Joker points the gun behind him and shoots the glass window. The part where he shoots the glass is actually another take entirely, but the clips are so well edited together that you don't even notice the jump. It was also cleverly covered up by a small yelp from Maggie Gyllenhaal.)

I would argue that the screenplay should have deserved at least a nomination, if not a win over Slumdog. It was such a fresh take on the Batman and series and an improvement over the previous Nolan interpretation. The screenplay succeeds in so many ways: It introduces the characters with seamless transitions - from a beautifully orchestrated bank robbery with witty and sinister dialogue to reintroducing Jim Gordon and his minions to reintroducing and quickly wrapping up the former enemy, Scarecrow, providing the precursor the recurring theme of "the problem with the design of Batman's armor," to so on and so forth.

One element of the screenplay I thought was brilliant was painlessly patching up the hole between the two Batman movies, now that Maggie Gyllenhaal took over Katie Holmes's role, with one simple line: Cue shot of surveillance video with her, then "Who Rachel spends her time with is her business." To most viewers, that's just dialogue; that's just words exchanged in conversation. But to me, that is brilliant, furtive writing that never allows the film to hit a snag.

Every time I see it, I like the film more and more, even though I loathe the boat scene (no movie should ever draw that much attention away from its main characters; falling back on extras is what makes tv shows terrible, and films aren't immune).

I do agree with you Mike: TDK deserved a nomination at least. However, I typically view the Picture, Acting, and Song Oscars as too subjective to be a healthy barometer of cinema. Screenplay, the various effects Oscars, Cinematography, and Director I often do agree with.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Yawkey on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:38 pm

Feist wrote:I've recommended Fear of a Black Hat to several people since joining MW, being consistently surprised that people have not heard of it.

Basically, Fear of a Black Hat : Early 90's Gangsta Rap :: Spinal Tap : Late 70's/Early 80's Heavy Metal.

And it's also fucking hilarious.

The Butt.... is like society, see?


Straight outta Locash, a crazy motherfucker named Gusto
I fucked your wife cuz the bitch is a big ho
I fucked your sister
I fucked your cat
I woulda fucked your mom but the bitch is too fat!

Also...if you liked The Squid and the Whale or The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, check out Kicking and Screaming. Noah Baumbach wrote and directed Squid and directed Life Aquatic. Kicking and Screaming was his first feature - available to stream on Netflix.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:37 pm

co-wrote life aquatic
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Schied on Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 am

Gran Torino

watched it a few weeks ago. What an awesome movie.

Here is one of my favorite scenes, tho it doesn't do you justice to see it w/o being immersed in the story and role Ole Clint is playing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NelBNtNm8l0
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:32 am

I finally started watching battlestar galactica because my netflix queue was making me want to commit suicide. I actually enjoy it quite a bit more, now that I understand the story.

My question is: where should I put the two movies in my queue? Caprica looks like a prequel type thing, so I guess it doesn't matter, but where does "the plan" fit in?
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Feist on Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:43 am

Michael wrote:I finally started watching battlestar galactica because my netflix queue was making me want to commit suicide. I actually enjoy it quite a bit more, now that I understand the story.

My question is: where should I put the two movies in my queue? Caprica looks like a prequel type thing, so I guess it doesn't matter, but where does "the plan" fit in?



The Plan is probably best watched at the end of the series - while the events take place near the beginning through the middle of the series, it's an alternate PoV that is going to spoil a lot if you don't watch the whole thing through first.

Caprica is the pilot/movie for a new series, that's going to be premiering in the new year. It's set about 20 years before the events of BSG and is a bit less 'scifi' then BSG itself was - watch it after everything else.
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Re: the good movie thread

Postby Michael on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:07 am

why are they making a spinoff?

and is this series supposed to be a remake of the original or is it supposed to take place 40 years after?
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